In a nutshell, the platform itself allows conference organizers to upload info about their events and enables attendees to get detailed information about the venue, speakers, schedule and all sorts of other things. With its most recent update it takes this one step further, adding smart social integration features to encourage people to keep using the service.
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Co-founder and VP of Biz Dev at Bizzabo, Alon Alroy, told The Next Web that the company aims to be “leading digital platform for conferences” and solves the problem of organizers having to pay expensive one-off costs for bespoke event apps, which can cost up to £20,000 (around $31,000) a pop.
Alroy added that the real appeal of the platform is that it “connects the dots” between speakers, sponsors, organizers and attendees and drives social engagement around the event before it even takes place.
One thing that is particularly smart about Bizzabo is that registration (and log-in) can only be done using a LinkedIn account. While this might seem restrictive, it means that nearly everyone on the platform is a real person and is the person they say they are. More than that though, by integrating details and some of the features from a LinkedIn profile, Bizzabo users can get deeper and more relevant information about other attendees or speakers without ever leaving the app.
Following the update, another example of this deeper social networking integration can be seen in areas like the schedule, with individual sessions and other content now shareable across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Similarly, while other features like searching the Bizzabo community by name, title, country or filtering by LinkedIn connections were always there, it now supports extra features like seeing which LinkedIn users have viewed your Bizzabo profile.
To try and further encourage users to share things socially and interact with one another, Bizzabo has made a lot of the social media distribution automatic; tweets are pre-populated with information and hashtags, so all the user has to do is hit a button.
Naturally, providing the organizer has filled out all the information, users can get detailed info about every aspect of a multi-day, mutli-track event, including sessions, speakers, keynotes and everything else that goes into a conference.
To help push that engagement point one more time, Bizzabo has also integrated push notifications so you can automatically find out if any of your LinkedIn connections are attending the same conferences as you.
For the end user, all this is free.
For the organizers of events, Bizzabo aims to provide a straightforward way to get word and provides a detailed dashboard of metrics that provide an overview of the buzz is being generated. However, as well as doing things like tracking tweets about the conference in general, it also looks at far more specific things like the most popular speakers or sessions.
Whether an attendee or an organizer, you can also (by ‘starring’ them in the app) mark other people as leads to follow up with once the event is over.
The updates might not be revolutionary, but for organizers, Alroy says Bizzabo aims to address problems, particularly ones that are important to sponsors, like retention and engagement.
Retention and engagement are a challenge with conferences. Everyone wants to at least be able to engage with the content, with each other and with the sponsors. It’s not enough just to build an app, because you want to have some sort of retention and that can’t be achieved with an agenda and a list of figures in an app, you need to find several different hooks that will get people back.
Pricing for organizers wanting to use the self-service platform ranges from free to between $300 – $1,000, making it a whole lot cheaper and quicker than developing an app for each event.
While the updates perhaps wouldn’t be considered the most exciting by some people, they’re likely not conference-goers. Deep integration of social networking, combined with easy to access and relevant information is not to be sniffed at when you’re on the show floor and in a rush. If that can translate into a more enjoyable and useful experience for attendees they’ll be more likely to return and to recommend it to their friends, which in turn will make the sponsors and organizers happy.
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